Stuffed Peppers

Oh my gosh these are so good!  I had never even heard of stuffed peppers until I moved to Russia.  That is a staple at many Russian restaurants. But apparently they are popular in the U.S. too!  Win win for my blog! 🙂  You gotta make these!  Actually, I gotta go make these, AGAIN.  They are that good! 🙂  Oh…sorry this picture is not so great!

Stuffed Peppers adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 2 C. brown rice, cooked
  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tsp. olive oil, separated
  • 8 oz. (225g) ground pork
  • Sausage seasoning: 3/4 tsp, salt, 1/3 tsp. ground black pepper: 1/3 tsp. fennel seeds (hard to find in Moscow, you can also omit), 3/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1. Trip the bottom of the peppers so that they have a flat bottom side.  This is so they will stand up straight in the baking dish.  Cut the top offof the peppers, dice the top (to be added to the stuffing later), and remove the seeds from the inside of the pepper, taking care to keep the pepper whole.

2. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Place peppers in a square or round baking dish that you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil.   Try to use a pan that just fits the 4 peppers, rather than something larger.

3.  Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet, then saute diced pepper (tops) and onion for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren’t browned. Remove pepper-onion mixture to a separate bowl.

4. Add 1 tsp. more olive oil to the pan, then add the ground pork and seasonings (salt, pepper, fennel seed, parsley), then cook until it’s lightly browned.

5. Put the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan with the sausage, and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the cooked rice and Parmesan cheese to the mixture.  Season with additional salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook a few more minutes so that the entire mixture is warm.

6. Stuff the filling mixture into the peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it’s tightly packed into the pepper shell.  If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small baking dish and bake along with the peppers. Bake peppers for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

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